the kids

Orangethorpe Learning Center
Fun Times

"some of the news, once in a while"

2351 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, CA 92833
May 2005 - Vol. 10 No. 3

OLC's Beginnings

Continuing our celebration of the 10th anniversary of OLC's founding, we include in this issue the story of one of our very first students. This is a speech which Kristina, who is now a Fullerton High School senior, prepared for a meeting of a citizens committee to consider a grant for OLC.

Some of you might remember me because I have spoken for OLC many times giving speeches and testimonies about this wonderfiul program. I could say enough things about this program to fill a book, but I will try to keep this short.

This program has been going for about ten years and is still going, serving kids in our local neighborhood. I was lucky enough when I was a little second grader to have a neighbor who induced me to come to OLC and I came on the second day and ever since I have been going, for about ten years now. This place has been part of my school life for so long, I don't know what I would do without it. My parents were not excellent at speaking English. I was born soon after they came to America from Romania. Since my parents immigrated to America, they barely knew enough English to teach me anything. They only taught me sign language since they were deaf.

English was always my toughest subject and is the toughest subject for students who have parents that are not from America. In our program we have many Spanish-speaking kids who need a lot of improvement on their English and their parents are not the ones they can ask for help. This place provided me a safe place to go after school and the perfect time to get all my homework done before going home to play outside.

Fun Times is published in English and Spanish for the information of the families and friends of Orangethorpe Learning Center.

After graduating sixth grade I still continued to come and tutor other kids because it was payback time, for me to now tutor the kids who attend OLC. It's also a great experience to help me become the teacher I want to be someday. Without my experience at OLC I don't think I would've gotten too far. We have many good years of memories and good times all together in our little "family" at OLC. I hope we can continue this for a long time, serving kids in our neighborhood in West Fullerton because every day a little child is going to need help on something that their parents don't have the ability to do. I think it's wonderful to put children in our thoughts first. Thank you, and I hope you agree that this is a good program to help our kids improve academically.

Kristina Iancului

The Great Flood of 2005

This has been one of the rainiest winters in the history of Southern California. As this edition of Fun Times goes to press at the end of April, we've already had more than 36 inches of rain in our area, with more predicted to fall this week.

Orangethorpe Learning Center was a victim of floodwaters in February. The entire Fellowship Hall building at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church, where we offer homework help to the children of our neighborhood, was flooded. But we didn't close our escuelita for even a single day. Our other sponsoring church, Orangethorpe Christian Church, wasn't affected by the flood and invited us to use their facilities. For six weeks, we enjoyed the hospitality of our neighbor church next door to Gilbert Park. More children than ever were in attendance and several new children enrolled, including Adena and Mathew, who attend the Christian Church.

Thank you very much, Pastor Dwight and OCC parishioners!

Some Lines from Lucy

I extend the most cordial Welcome once again to all the boys, girls and parents who come day after day to our escuelita.

With God's help, all our problems were resolved satisfactorily and we're back in our own home.

It's important to show our gratitude to all the members of Orangethorpe Christian Church and especially to Pastor Dwight Messenger who opened the doors of their hearts and received us gladly in their church during a period when our own was in crisis.

We also thank all those organizations who support us economically with their generous donations. Thanks also to the youth who come from:

to support our program, and thank you to all those others who in one way or another are involved in our program at O. L. C. Thank you for your show of support!

Something to Remember. At this moment two dates come to mind which are very important to me. The first is Dia del Niño (Children's Day), which is traditionally celebrated in México on April 30 each year. That's when we wish a Happy Children's Day to all the children of the world and especially to all those who attend our escuelita.

We're also celebrating moms, hoping they'll have a very happy day and that we'll all honor them not only on their special day but every other day of the year. Happy Mother's Day! especially to all those moms who volunteer their support, preparing tasty snacks for our children and involving themselves actively in their education.

That's all for now! I'm counting on your cooperation and support right up to the last day of our school year.

All together we'll build a better world for our children.

Thank you very much,

Lucy Ruiz


Friends of OLC

We're very grateful to the following generous friends who have recently donated funds, supplies or computer equipment to OLC:

OLC Celebrates!


February 17th was a festive day at Orangethorpe Learning Center. We celebrated our tenth anniversary and recognized the many friends, volunteers and leaders who have made our escuelita a success over those years. Several of our students from the early days were in attendance, such as Jaime Baltazar, Judith Díaz, Kristina Iancului, and Willie, Jesse and Bianca Solares. We thank Lucy for organizing this grand event and all the families who contributed refreshments and who worked to make it a fitting celebration.

If you have internet access, be sure to visit our web site,, where you can click on "photo album" and see pictures of our Tenth Anniversary party and of "OLC East" at Orangethorpe Christian Church.

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